S94P8 – Dark seasons of the soul: isolation

Eph. 4:11-13

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

His was a shame so great that he did not feel he could share it with others.  He had spent years struggling with his private sin, and he hoped that God would bring him freedom, but that seemed to be elusive. There were times when he felt free, and then he would fall back to old ways and feel like his worth disappeared.  It was during those dark times that he would hide himself from his brothers and sisters with one excuse after another.  He thought he was doing them a favor by being on his own because he did not measure up.  He thought he just was not good enough to fellowship with them the way he was.  What he failed to realize was that his isolation was a tactic of the enemy not only to keep him in shame but to frustrate God’s goal of unity among his children.

We have seen these dramatic scenes time and again in movies and TV shows.  Someone is so hurt or so troubled that he or she just wants to be alone.  While there certainly are times when it is important for the individual to fellowship alone with God, we were built for relationship and unity of the body.  There is a reason why God gives us one another here during this time.  We are to rely on the brethren in our times of need and our times of difficulty.  Secret sin is a classic reason for us to isolate, but the scriptures tell us to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed and forgiven.  Isolation during times when we need the encouragement and support of our brothers and sisters does not help our plight.  It only makes that time darker and more spiritually dangerous for us.

We were built for community.  We were built for fellowship.  We were built not to be individual parts working on our own but to be part of a larger body working in unity.  No person completes his or her walk with Christ with just two feet.  We walk in a crowd all moving in the same direction for the same purpose.  The Christian cannot be complete without being part of the Church. Isolation only serves to damage that body and to make it ineffective.  When our flesh tells us to hide in the corner and turn off the lights, our spirit must prompt us to face the issue head on and with God’s children by our side.  Father, remind us and make us wise to reject the temptation of isolation and to seek out our brothers and sisters when we have difficult times.